my battle for better health

My Battle for Better Health: Small Things

5/22/2016 Laura Watkins 0 Comments

You may have noticed that my blog has been awfully quiet the past few months. When I say that we've been working on getting the dosage of my thyroid meds right, it really doesn't seem like a big deal. But trying to that one small thing has been like running a gauntlet. Bring on the pain sticks!


Hashimoto's (my thyroid disease) doesn't directly cause me pain, but it's caused me to become extremely overweight and have next to no energy most of the time. It's a bit of a catch-22. The more active I am, the less symptoms I experience (from all of my junk, but especially Hashimoto's and fibromyalgia). But in the last few months, my energy level has been so low that I haven't been able to be very active. And believe me, I've tried. I've pushed my body the breaking point, where I've forced myself to be so active that I hurt myself (aside from the extreme inflammation and fatigue, I ended aggravating my sprained knee that was mostly healed etc.) I'm in the middle of that recovery right now....These last few weeks have been so so fun... *sigh*

It just seems like I can't win. I try to balance my life, working and exercising a bit, then trying to rest and recover, but I can't keep up with everything. So, instead of steadily progressing, I try to ignore and push through the pain. By the end of it, I feel like I've passed through the Klingon Rite of Ascension.



Like Worf, I lay splayed on the ground, having barely made it through the day's trials, for the whole world to see how broken and weak I am. I was hoping I was actually more Klingon and would stand up triumphant, proving myself a true warrior through the pain I'd endured, but hey, I'm still hanging in there.

Seeing my "dead mommy" look (my standard is usually a ponytail, no makeup in weeks/months unless I have to for work, and the same clothes as the day or two before because the laundry is piled so high I have no idea where my clothes even are!), my messy house, or my kids (whose clothes probably don't match, and may or may not be wearing their sister's pants because they dug through the clean laundry basket right before school started and fished out the first pair of jeans they could find)---gets me a lot of weird looks. Some dismiss me out of hand (probably as another run down mom), some actually bother to ask how I'm doing out of politeness, and then there are the ones who really care.



So yeah, I haven't been doing too great lately, but going through this has made me accept some of my own limitations. It's also shown me who some of my true friends are. Their compassion, empathy, and love has helped me not only remember to not give up, but it's made me want to serve others instead of just focusing on my own problems.

I'm not saying that everything magically goes away, but it's made my world a bit brighter and more hopeful being pushed outside my dark bubble of pain and self-loathing.


My goals

I want to have energy to spend time and actually do activities with my family.
I want to be able to be physically active. I’m not saying I plan on running marathons, but being able to exercise and do basic housecleaning on a daily basis would be nice.
I want my mind to feel less foggy all the time so I can do my job well and enjoy being in the profession I love.
I want to be healthy and be at a healthy weight.
I want my life back! I will look for the best in my life and realize what I truly have, always striving to make it better.

Read more about My Battle for Better Health here.

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    Perler Mini Beads vs Perler Midi Beads

    5/19/2016 Laura Watkins 5 Comments


    Perler Mini Beads are here! I've literally been waiting years for these suckers. I'd heard the Hama Minis weren't worth the cost to buy and ship from Europe, so this is the first mini bead I've used. I couldn't wait to review them.


    Perler Mini Bead Review: When Ek Success Brands (the manufacturer of Perler Beads) told me they'd send me some mini perler beads to test for free, I had no idea they'd send me all this great stuff! They were generous enough to send me several mini bead trays, mini pegboards, and even some mini teezers to test for free! (Pictured above, full review below) 




    Mini Beads Tray: Warm Colors 80-17525

    Mini Beads Tray: Rainbow Colors 80-17529

    Mini Beads Tray: Cool Colors 80-17526

    Perler Mini Color Review: I love that the colors are an exact match for their perler midi (standard sized perler beads), and for being a new product, there are quite a few different shades. I REALLY hope they start selling the rest of the shades of mini beads that I get in midi size because I am truly addicted to perler mini beads now! 

    Mini Beads Tray: Neutral Colors 80-17527

    Perler Mini Tweezer Tool Review: I've tried other fine/needle tipped tweezers before (and they've been super sharp!), so it was a pleasant surprise to discover that these perler mini tweezer's tips are blunted but work extremely well. They're easy to use and I found myself even picking up and handling two mini perler beads at once (a feat that usually ends in beads flying everywhere when I try that with perler midis).

    Perler Beads Mini Bead Pegboards (4 Pack)

    Perler Mini Bead Pegboard Review: These mini pegboards are so cute and fun to use! Since the beads are so tiny and designing even basic patterns is very intricate work, I loved the fact that I could easily pick the board up and move it closer to see it better without disturbing the beads. I just have to be very careful of course. ;) The mini perler pegboards interlock shockingly well. At times, I was even hard pressed to separate them without disturbing the beads.

    Perler Midi Beads vs Perler Mini Beads with mini pegboard
    Baby Doctor Who inspired Tardis: Perler Midi Beads vs Perler Mini BeadsPerler Midi Bead Tweeze Tool vs Perler Mini Bead Tweezers
    Nintendo Inspired Princess Peach in Perler Midi Beads vs Peach and Lakitu in Perler Mini Beads

    League of Legends inspired Teemo and Panda Teemo in Perler Midi Beads vs Perler Mini Beads (Slight color differences in colors due to limited Perler Mini Beads shades available.)

    Batman the Animated Series inspired Harley Quinn in Perler Midi Beads vs Perler Mini Beads

    Doctor Who Inspired 11th Doctor with Mop and Fez in Perler Midi Beads vs 11th Doctor, Tardis, and River Song in Perler Mini Beads(Slight color differences in colors due to limited Perler Mini Beads shades available.)

    Guardians of the Galaxy inspired Rocket Raccoon and Baby Groot in Perler Midi Beads vs Perler Mini Beads (Slight color differences in colors due to limited Perler Mini Beads shades available and because I accidentally used Brown instead of Light Brown for mini Baby Groot. Doh!)

    My Little Pony inspired Rainbow Dash in Perler Midi Beads vs Perler Mini Beads
    (Slight color differences in colors due to limited Perler Mini Beads shades available)
    This is not a sponsored post. I received no compensation other than the free product for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

    My Review Conclusions: 
    I stinkin LOVE these Perler Mini Beads
    • I will still be using the midi (normal) sized beads to create my patterns because, while perler minis are super fun, they're a bit harder to see and handle
    • Color and shape are the high quality that I've come to expect from the Perler Brand
    • True to size: From what I can tell, the perler mini beads seem to be exactly half the size as the perler midi beads
    • The plastic of the perler mini beads seems a bit softer than the perler midis but it's still strong and flexible. 
    • Perler mini beads fuse really well together but they were a bit tricky to get the melting temperature right at first. I was surprised that the perler mini beads had a pretty high melting point for their size. I thought for sure the lowest setting would be too hot but it wasn't. 
    • The perler mini tweezers made the beads easier to handle and worked great without being sharp and dangerous.
    • The mini perler pegboards interlocked almost too well and were perfect for laying out and designing bead patterns. 
    • Fused perler mini beads are stronger and flexible than I'd anticipated! In some cases, they may be even more durable than the perler midi beads.

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